Ibrahim Mahama is the 2020 Principal Prince Claus Laureate. Since 1997, the Prince Claus Fund has presented Awards to individuals, groups and organisations whose cultural actions have a positive impact on their societies, primarily in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.
Ibrahim Mahama (Tamale, 1987) is a visual artist who is actively involved in improving social conditions. His powerful artworks use provocative materials and sites to examine and expose histories, uphold the role of labour, challenge authorities and criticise mismanagement of resources. Directly addressing lack of opportunities and facilities in his home region, he has set up an open access cultural centre and other social projects providing employment, education, studio space and creative activities.
In 2019 Mahama founded The Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA) in Tamale, Ghana as a project space, exhibition and research hub, cultural repository and artists’ residency. SCCA Tamale is a contribution towards transforming the contemporary art scene in Ghana. The SCCA-Tamale team intends, with its diverse programming and research interests, to spotlight significant moments in Ghanaian and international art in a communal space.
On Facebook the artist wrote: « It is a great honor to be the recipient of the PRINCIPAL PRICE CLAUS AWARD for 2020. Its humbling to be receiving this award within the Times we live in. It proves that partnerships, collaborations and most importantly support structures are very necessary for building the next generation engines. Most gratitude to Ghana and the continent for creating the enabling environment to think, create and share my practice. Now more than ever we need to come together to build a new image for the continent and world at large. »
Mahama joins the ranks of Prof. J.H. Nketia (Laureate 1997), Tetteh Adzedu (Principal Award 1998), and El Anatsui (Laureate 2009) as previous Ghanaian Laureates of the Prince Claus Awards.